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Barbie's bald friend "Elle"
ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- The children's hospital at Sacred Heart has a big batch of new toys.
"Elle" is Barbie's friend, who also happens to be bald.
Mattel began making the doll after a parent-driven on-line petition caught the company's attention.
Right now, only hospitals are allowed to buy and give the doll away.
Eleven year old cancer patient, Linda is struggling with chemotherapy and it's after effects.
(("Left the bangs like Rhianna and Miley Cyrus but then the rest fell out the next day and i was pretty sad."))
Enter Elle -- Barbie's bald friend. She's stylish and beautiful, like Linda.
Elle also has scarves and special headbands -- just like Linda.
(("I thought it was like me. I have no hair and she has no hair and I'm going to get wigs."))
Linda's on a waiting list with an agency in Mobile that gives out three free wigs a month. She's hoping for a special one that coincidentally Elle has dark, with a pink highlight.
Down the hall four year old Carolyn plays with her "Elle" doll.
Carolyn was diagnosed with a very rare cancer in late May. She's a little trooper and is responding well to chemo.
But the idea of losing her hair was tough for the preschooler.
(("When I first told her, she just cried and cried and I said, "I'll cut my hair off too" and she said no, no, don't. So I think, as a four year old, she doesn't look at her self in the mirror a lot so as long as she feels some hair, she's been all right."))
Mom Kathryn Hendrix says family and friends have pitched in to help Carolyn cope.
(("People have printed her pics of princesses without hair. Barbies without hair and dolls without hair, so now that's becoming normal so when she see it on herself, she won't freak out as much."))
Sacred Heart Childlife Specialist Meghan Kamau says she's thrilled for her girl patients. But hopes GI Joe soon follows suit for her little fellows on the floor.
(("There's a little boy right now back there. I was like, oh, but we don't have something for him right now. But it will be important for them too."))
Linda is so tickled and feels such a kinship with her new doll she's re-christened her.
(("I'm gonna name her Linda."))
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